“Leaving the world” means setting aside all of that which distracts us from focusing on God. For some that sounds dreary and dull (what, just reading scriptures and singing hymns?). They believe the world is exciting and vibrant.
But consider that maybe we have that reversed.
Focusing on the world is exhausting. The world is hounding you with so many unnecessary expectations and demands.
You may find yourself:
- fixated with fashion or physical appearance;
- preoccupied with the look of a house and yard;
- needing to be seen as “successful,” especially on social media, in your business and personal life;
- driven to possess the next best thing either in technology, or vehicles, or housing, or vacations;
- consumed with a desire to be popular and recognized as part of the “right” group.
That’s exhausting. And it’s dreary and dull, trying to keep up with the world’s changing trends.
Keeping the world “happy” is as tedious as reasoning with a toddler having a tantrum. What they want changes frequently, and they’re never satisfied for long.
Now think about what your life would be like without that pressure to impress the world.
Really think about it: no demands, no expectations, no guilt or shame for not being “good enough yet,” and no fretting about what someone will think—
Doesn’t that make you feel like it’s the first day of summer vacation when you’re in high school? Remember that feeling? No more assignments, no more demands, no more busy work to earn a label of “success” or “failure.” (I realize that as a high school teacher I’m condemning myself here a little, but teachers probably rejoice at the end of the school year more than students do.)
Instead, you feel that release, that sudden joy and lightness of realizing you get to do what you feel you should. Explore, work, play, sleep—you can just enjoy the world.
That’s what God wants for us. Focusing on Him is summer vacation, while being obsessed with the world is the third week of a gray, cold February with no holidays in sight.
Ask Him what “summer vacation” and focusing on Him looks like for you. It will be different for everyone. For me, this month, it’s focusing on my family, writing new books, studying ideas I’ve always wanted to, and preparing for the future. Next month may be different. And I eagerly look forward to it.
Building Zion is all about finding your purpose and leaving the world behind. You won’t miss the world, and what’s more, the world will not miss you. (Because it doesn’t care about you and it never has.)